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CfP "Planning and programming in European cooperation and integration: the past of a rejuvenated idea 1957-1992", European University Institute, Florence, 16-17.9.2024

06-03-2024 22:08

Planning has come back in fashion. The climate crisis, the vicissitudes of the euro area and domestic national contexts indicate that planning is an important issue for policymakers and academics alike. In particular, the idea that the economy could be voluntarily organised, ex ante, has gained considerable traction in the past few years. The meaning of the term remains however evasive, multiple, at times even contradictory, and liable to provoke strong reactions both among its supporters and its opponents.

The aim of this conference is to explore the varied origins and practices about planning in a European context since 1945. We understand ‘planning’ in broad terms as attempts to coordinate economic policies and organise ex ante the economic development of a given jurisdiction (state or group of states). We also understand ‘European context’ in a broad sense, including not only the European Economic Community/European Union but also initiatives that aimed beyond its borders.

There are lively debates in both economic history and contemporary debates about the continued or new relevance of planning (Monnet, 2022). Similarly, the historiography of European integration is a very dynamic field that explored the issue of planning in different contexts (Christian, Kott and Matejka, 2018). What this conference intends to focus on is not only the development of ideas about planning but also importantly on the practices of planning in an international context.

What do national experiences in Europe and their comparison tell us about the
nature and practice of planning? What phenomena of transnational circulation of ideas and imitation between national experiences occurred after 1945 and how did they condition the ascending and descending phases of the planning age? To what extent was planning part of the development of the European Economic Community? What were the obstacles to planning in the EEC/EU? What role did Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) play in the debates on planning? How was the idea of planning/programming abandoned in the 1980s, both at national and international level?

Topics of papers presented at the conference may include, but are not limited to:

- Proposals and initiatives to develop planning/programming in a European context, both at national and transnational level
- Connections between the implementation of planning/programming at the national level and the international environment, intended as opportunity or constraint
- Connections between the development of planning/programming the democratic legitimacy of the EEC/EU
- The influence of schools of economic thought on the question of planning and programming in European economic and political cooperation and integration
- Proposals on planning/programming coming from transnational political networks including political fractions in the European Parliament or transnational European parties
- The role of academics and experts — in particular economists, lawyers, and social scientists — in conceptualising and informing the proposals, development and practice of European planning/programming
- The influence of national visions of programming/planning on European debates (from EEC member states as well as Eastern European countries)
- Non-state actors (political parties, businesses, trade unions) and their conception of the importance and role of planning/programming at European level
The conference focuses on a period running from the end of the Second World War to the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht. Contributions can focus on shorter, more specific periods, or span this entire time frame. Proposals may also deal with pre-1945 events and debates on European economic and monetary cooperation in that they contribute to shed light on the later period. Proposals may also deal with post-1992 events and debates, so long as they are clearly connected with developments from the previous period. We welcome different methodological approaches in dealing with the theme of the conference, including but not limited to biography, prosopography, text mining and network analysis. The conference finally encourages a conversation between different historiographical traditions, including the history of ideas, social history and economic history.

The conference - organized by the Alcide De Gasperi Research Centre - will take place on 16-17 September 2024 at the European University Institute in Florence.

Eligibility and how to apply:

PhD students, early career researchers, and established researchers are invited to submit proposals.

Applicants should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words outlining their proposal, and a short CV by 15 May 2024 to Miriam Curci,, mentioning ‘Planning and Programming Conference’ in the headline. Selected applicants will be informed by late May 2024.

Please note that should your institution be unable to do so, conference funds are available to support your accommodation and travel expenses.

For further information please contact Miriam Curci,

Scientific committee

Professor Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol (European University Institute) 
Dr Giovanni Bernardini (Università di Verona)


Christian, Michel, Kott, Sandrine and Matejka, Ondrej (eds), Planning in Cold War Europe, Competition, Cooperation, Circulations (1950s-1970s), Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018
Monnet, Éric, “Economic Planning and War Economy in the Context of Ecological Crisis,” Green 2:1, September 2022 


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